By Muyiwa Olayinka
My rejoinder to the interview granted by Alh Lai Mohammed.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed granted an interview with the Punch newspaper and was published on Saturday 17th of September, 2016
As usual, the minister refused to give specific timelines to direct answers to poignant questions raised in the interview.
He was in his usual style, side stepping and avoiding policy statements that required detail analysis.
As a cabinet minister of information, he is the image maker and the official spoke person of the federal government. From the interview, i realised that the minister did not gauge the mood of the nation perfectly before making this statement.
He was talking like the Lord of the manor
It is only in Nigeria that political appointees or office holders believe they are doing the electorates a big favour for doing what is expected of them.
Anybody who comes forward to contest for elections is expected to be the servants of the people. But reverse is the case in Nigeria.
It is a common practise in Nigeria for an office holder to rate themselves high even if reverse is the case. They are the umpires in a contest they organise by themselves.
If an office holder constructs roads, digs boreholes or any infrastructural developments, they hail themselves to high heavens. It is common to hear phrases like I pay salaries, I build houses or paid WAEC fees and we gullibly call him a performer.
A governor the other day was boasting he owes no worker in his state. These aberrations have become the norms in Nigeria. It is a great achievement in Nigeria if a governor does his statutory responsibilities of which paying salaries of civil servants is one of them.
It is in this country a serving governor hosted the President to commission a few blocks of classrooms. It is called democracy dividends. He did this to shore up his sagging credentials in his state. Governance has been thrown to the dogs in Nigeria.
In other countries we read and hear landmark and major breakthroughs in medical sciences, technology, and other human endeavours.
It is trite to say Alhaji Lai Mohammed is disturbed that Nigerians are not praising his government for landmark achievements despite no visible projects.
I often wonder what has been the achievements of this government for the past 17 months. Maybe we should be praising this government for lives that are being cut short on daily basis as a result of rising costs of foods and services, Or we should be thanking them for thousands of lives that are being lost as a result of the murderous campaigns of the herdsmen, loss of faith in the system and lack of medical facilities, to mention a few
Jobs are being lost on daily basis in all critical sectors of our economy.
Our naira is loosing its value everyday. The respected magazine ” The economist” released a report that our naira is the worst performimg currency in Africa.
The inflatìon rate 17.5% is the highest in a decade. Foreign investors are leaving in droves and many manufacturing companies are folding up and laying off labor force.
Doctors in medical fields are threatening to embark on industrial strikes.
Despite all these challenges, the minister is proud of the achievement of being the initiator of change begins with me.
A government that promises us change in its campaigns has made a turn around and asking us to be the change. This government lacks any modicum of decency by pushing its responsibilities to the people.
Have they forgotten that Nigerians queue in their millions to vote this government to power.
Have they forgotten that many queued up under the scorching sun and some are soaked in the rains to give their sovereignty to this government?
It is so annoying, ludicrous, debile and exasperating to shift its responsibility back to us that willingly gave this government its legitimacy.
Also it is incongruous to start the campaign of change begins with me after 17 months of this government.
Nigerians are befuddled of how to meet their basic responsibilities and thinking of how to survive in recession. Government that is expected to bring rays of hope is now the harbinger of bad news of change begins with me
A responsible govrnrment ought to be thinking in a creative manner of how to pull its citizens out of recession.
This government is not talking realistically how jobs are going to be created, how the productive and manufacturing sectors shalll be revived, infrastructural developments and rolling out clear cut fiscal policies.
The Niger delta avengers are destorying our national assets unhindered, kidnappings, murders, armed robberies and threat to the corporate existence of the nation are the other of the day.
This government is quick to tell us how past government destroyed our economy. Trading blames is their watchword.
For crying out loud, this government was not voted to remind us the mistakes of the past. It was voted to solve problems in an enduring and analytic manner.
The two major areas this government have reasonable measure of success are the fight against corruption and the insurgency in the north eastern part of Nigeria.
But unfortunately, it has not recorded any conviction against tons of corruption related cases in law courts.
It is obvious that this government is not prepared for the arduous task of nation building. The party APC is a concatenation of strange bedfellows. We have been treated to odious in fightings that if care is not taking, could derail our hard earned democracy.
I demand apology from this minister and this government for this act of insensitivity.
I owe my self and my generation this rejoinder to set the records straight.
I will like to end this with a quotation from Mr Josef Goebbels, Adolf Hitler Information minister. He said “once a lie is repeated enough times, it becomes truth to those who are continously subjected to it. This is especially so if it goes unchallenged”.